It may seem like Las Vegas is tapped out on new people moving here. Our water resources seem to be depleted with Lake Mead falling so drastically. Our roads aren’t big enough to hold on the traffic it suddenly needs to. Road construction is an ongoing thing lately.
But still we keep seeing more and more housing construction happening around the valley. And in more recent years, even up the side of the mountains. Because people are still relocating to Sin City. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to stop anytime soon.
And one specific demographic that is, more and more, calling Las Vegas “home” is the Pacific Islanders. More specific, natives of Hawaii. In fact, the community of Hawaiians in Las Vegas is flourishing so much, that Vegas is informally referred to as the “Ninth Island”.
I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone leave Hawaii? The answer is pretty common. It’s too expensive to live there. According to dividendsdiversify.com, home prices are two and a half times the national average, rent is about 60% higher. Even utilities, groceries, and gasoline are much higher than you’ll find on the mainland.
But Hawaiians relocating to Las Vegas isn’t a new thing. And there’s a common denominator in many of the stories of why Islanders relocate to Sin City. There are a lot of targeted marketing specials aimed at the islands for getaways to Las Vegas. Some of our local hotels and casinos offer certain incentives for Hawaiians to visit. And a lot of times once someone is here to visit, they end up staying.
According to the New York Times, once such hotel was the California Hotel & Casino in downtown Vegas. It opened in 1975 with an intentional draw toward the residents of Hawaii. The dealers wore Hawaiian shirts. There was island cuisine on the menu. There was even a sign that read “Aloha Spoken Here” (nytimes.com).
So what specifically does Las Vegas have to offer that Hawaii doesn’t? Here’s a list of pros and cons about living on the islands versus living in Las Vegas.
– Wendy Rush, 96.3 KKLZ